Stars: John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, Michael Palin. Rated PG-13 for adult themes, profanity.

With all four of the principle cast members, several of the minor cast members, and most of the off-screen talent from the wonderfully witty "A Fish Called Wanda", you'd think that "Fierce Creatures" would be a laugh riot. You'd think wrong. This unrelated "comedy" is so overwrought and needy that one is liable to wince at its stars more than laugh at or with them.

The needless convoluted plot finds two big-wig executives (Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline) taking over control of a large metropolitan zoo from a recently-instated businessman (John Cleese) who insists that his domain display only violent, ie. fierce, animals. The executives remove this ridiculous concept and replace it with an even more ludicrous one: animal exhibits endorsed by big-name celebrities such as Bruce Springsteen and Steve Martin. The zoo becomes little more than a series of obtrusive advertisements, some placed on the animals themselves. A subplot concerns the attempt by one executive to wrest control of his father's empire away while amorously pursuing his female peer.

"Fierce Creatures" is an epic fumble in the comedy realm, and one which will soon be disgracing the shelves of video stores everywhere. If you want a good laugh you'd be better advised to check out the 6 O'clock news than this humorless fiasco.

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